Woolwich’s plan for dealing with methane from a former landfill site at Bolender Park centers on the salvage yard on the west side. The township wants to install more probes and dig a methane collection trench on the property owned by 86 Auto and Metal Recyclers at 39 Arthur St. N.
That’s hindered, however, by the township having alienated the site’s owner by blocking attempts to recycle scrap metal beyond simply salvaging cars. 86 Auto has curtailed most of its activities at the site, and has been disinclined to work with the township.
Last fall, for instance, a makeshift pathway connecting the Kissing Bridge Trail and Bolender Park was removed when the township failed to reach an agreement with owner Frank Rattasid. Likewise, the township found itself scrambling when it was revealed there was no formal easement agreement for a municipal waterline that runs under the 86 Auto property.
Now looking to install additional methane probes, a detection system and passive trench on the property, Woolwich may find the reception rather chilly.
The township has asked the owner for the necessary permissions, however, director of engineering and planning Dan Kennaley told councillors meeting March 6.
The methane is being produced by the former municipal landfill site, which operated between 1962 and 1970 and covers an area that encompasses swaths of the wrecking yard and the park up to the top of High Street.
Responding to another round of questions from Elmira environmental activist Alan Marshall, Kennaley said the township is not concerned that methane is migrating off the site, a position shared by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC).
“The MOECC have indicated that, ‘based on the information that has been provided to date, the MOECC has seen no evidence to suggest that there are any off-site impacts associated with the Bolender landfill,’” said Kennaley in a report to council.
The situation is further complicated, however, due to the presence of other contaminants, particularly hydrocarbons, due to the site’s longtime use as a salvage yard and garage.
While council endorsed Kennaley’s recommendations, there is no timeline for the work getting done. The township has allocated $75,000 in the 2018 budget to deal with the methane issue.